Santa Claus is not coming to town
Santa Claus is not coming to town.
Sure he’s made a list, and he’s checked it twice, but someone has been eating his reindeer so this year your presents are coming by DHL.
I’m writing this in the
Most of you last heard from me after sleepless nights in airports Italian and Stansted. I made it to
I overnighted in a ski resort, nestled amongst stunning lakes, forest and unfortunately a motorway. Full moon hung in the pale sky, there was still enough light at to see clearly, ah lovely. I passed out too soon to appreciate it fully, with my forehead pressing against the hotel room window!
The next morning, was hot, a bit of a shock. Also a shock to be left standing out the front of my hotel door with loads of Finnish thick-necked broad shouldered men piling past me – no ladies first here! We’re not in
Arriving in Jyvaskala, the capital of the Finnish lake district, the humidity kicked in and a shopping trip was necessary, nay, essential to kit out for this unexpected glorious weather. It was a lovely four days of tanning with apparently some work in between! The highlight eating moose with some world rally champions, as you do.
From there, into the hands of my next Finnish guide, the lively and outspoken (very un-Finnish characteristics) Aila, who hailed from the north of the country and was accompanied by her bull mastiff who liked to sit on me. A lot. At 56 kgs, the novelty wore off pretty much as soon as the circulation in my legs did!
She, Aila, not the dog, drove the 728 kms from her house in Tampere to her parent’s home in Rovaniemi in the blink of an eye, and only one hot dog and a couple of doggy convenience stops later I was in the Arctic Circle.Her mother greeted us with steaming bowls of reindeer stew and Lappi potatoes. This meal I called Dasher.
I jumped, straddled, walked along and danced the
A traditional sauna was on the agenda but after seven years of
Rovaniemi is the capital of
After three days in Rovaniemi, peering at massive ski jumps, walks up hills, walks around lakes, walks down hills, walks in lakes, eating more reindeer (I call this one Comet) and eating so much Lappi food that I look slightly like a Lappi potato myself it was back down 700 km of road to Tampere, resisting the urge to make Aila stop so I could take pics of every cute little bus stop (each county has a distinct wooden hut style) and old fashioned hay stack (they look like little hairy aliens) on the way. She did indulge me with a trip to
Aila lives in a fantastic Finnish country house with rooms a plenty and only 300 Euro (that’s for the benefit of us paying
But work and reality beckoned and without electric lights (not a quaint tradition but just that Aila hasn’t been home to do the wiring) internet access on something other than my phone I was starting to feel the need to get back and at least re-charge my computer’s batteries.
Next stop Deutschland Deutschland uber alles.
Photos of Rovaniemi in Summer